The brief from Audi was to take them on a content revolution, to get them a more powerful magazine, with content that embraced new media faster than their rivals and offered the most meaningful – and innovative – branded content marketing in the automotive sector. This content also needed to bring warmth and a more relaxed and human tone to the brand, while also reflecting the auto maker’s distinct philosophy and set of values. And, of course, the magazine and associated content are there to promote brand loyalty and drive both new and repeat sales.
The prime focus was to shape a content strategy that would fit the precise needs of Audi and sit at the heart of their marketing operation. This meant creating accessible high-quality content that could be used for communication with prospective customers, owners and fans of the brand – all owners (present or future) at different stages of the buying cycle. Crucially, the different strands require subtle changes in emphasis, while the whole editorial collection needs to feel consistent, unified and cohere with Audi’s core marketing priorities.
We have developed a three-strand strategy:
1. Audi Update
The internet gives brands a great opportunity to have an open door to prospects editorially. In this case we developed a website, Audi Update, offering brand and product awareness-building content targeted at prospects. This is available online and also projected with an email mailshot. A second generation site offering enhanced aesthetics and functionality was launched in 2014. www.audi.co.uk/update
2. Audi Magazine
For those prospects who graduate to becoming buyers, there is Audi Magazine, a 100-page quarterly title sent direct to customers. This is the prime marketing tool both for customer loyalty and retention, and also the marketing content-hub of the brand. It contains high quality, unique content designed to reflect the brand, reflect the values of the ownership community but also to raise awareness of the product and provide useful information for owners.
3. Audi Magazine iPad App
For those readers who want more – customers who could be said to be on the ‘fan journey’ – we developed an iPad app to give them a deeper reader experience. With additional galleries of images and specially commissioned films, this offers enhanced reader engagement and supports the brand’s hope to see its owners become fans of the brand. This also feeds into Audi’s social media campaign and is available to non-customers, thereby expanding the pool of the magazine’s impact.
- Audi Magazine was named Best Automotive title in 2013 and 2010 at the International Content Marketing Awards. It was the Grand Prix winner in 2013 (the best piece of content marketing in any sector for that year – the ultimate industry accolade).
- In 2013 more than 60,000 car sales were directly attributable to behaviour prompted by the magazine
- Audi’s media agency, BBH, calculates the ROI on the magazine investment to Audi at over 10:1
- The iPad app has 13,390 unique users and almost 6,000 subscribers. It’s the highest ranked premium automotive editorial app on the Apple Newsstand
- Two issues of Audi Update generated 1,761 test drives (0.5% of audience), 3,283 dealer visits (1.0%) and 1,256 car sales (0.4%)
- 95% read the magazine for over 30 minutes
- 95% believe the magazine represents Audi values of high quality and technical sophistication
- 93% believe the magazine represents Audi values of style, prestige and performance
Agency Website: www.thisisnorthstar.com